Why did the Classical piano composers choose the keys that they did? Was there something mysterious about the “keys”? There is evidence that the manner in which keyboards were tuned affected the composers' choices. If this is so, we need to hear the music performed in more original tuning to fully appreciate everything the composer intended. This recording follows temperament’s evolution, presenting piano music from various eras performed on tunings that were in use at their respective times.
With its palette of various sizes of intervals, the well-tempered piano adds a harmonic dimension to music that is lacking in more modern tuning. There is greater consonance and greater dissonance, creating contrasts unheard of in today’s equal temperament.
This recording also allows direct comparisons between today and yesteryear’s intonation with a specific comparison of a Mozart composition played in three different tunings, (Meantone, Well-tempered, Equal Temperament). This may be the first time listeners have heard a piano tuned in Meantone tuning.
Enid Katahn performs all selections on a Steinway D concert grand piano.